Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today yet again took up the issue of the pending Central funds and urged the Centre to authorise and issue guidelines on which vaccine should be used to tackle COVID pandemic.
The request was made during the video conference between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief ministers of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Bengal which was held to discuss the situation arising out of the pandemic.
“The state is still to receive Rs 4135 crore towards GST compensation and overall outstanding dues of Rs 53000crore from the Central government,” said Miss Banerjee.
“Central government has raised the FRBM limit from three to five per cent but only 0.5 per cent out of the increased two per cent has been made unconditional. We request the Central government to make the remaining 1.5 per cent also unconditional for one year”, she said.
Miss Banerjee also requested the Centre to authorise which vaccine is to be procured and used as well as issue necessary guidelines in this regard. Further, she urged the Centre to provide more ventilators and High Flow Nasal Cannulas.
Miss Banerjee gave a detailed account of the initiatives taken by the state government to handle the situation while stating that the GDP growth rate for India in 2019-20 is 7.21 per cent while for Bengal it is 15.04 per cent.
“All treatment in state government hospitals and government requisitioned private hospitals including ambulance services are fully free,” she said adding that facilities of safe homes, telemedicine services, telepsychological counselling, Covid patient management system, COVID warrior clubs have been pressed into service. This apart, Swastha Sathi card has been provided to 7.5 crore and free ration to 10 crore people.
Meanwhile, flights to Kolkata from the six Corona hotspot cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Nagpur and Ahmedabad have been extended till 31 August. State home secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay in a letter to Mr P S Kharola, secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation dated 10 August stated: “I am directed to inform you that that the suspension of flight from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Nagpur and Ahmedabad to Kolkata will continue till August 30, 2020.”
Earlier, the arrival of flights to Kolkata airport was suspended till 15 August and flight operations at the city airport will also remain suspended on 20 and 21 August and 27, 28 and 31 August due to complete lockdown. The total case count in the state crossed a lakh today with 2931 Covid positive cases and 49 deaths being recorded in the last 24 hours.
Currently, there are 25,846 active cases though till now, a total of 1,01,390 people were detected Covid positive and 2,149 died due to infection. In a single-day, 3,067 Covid patients were discharged from hospitals.
Kolkata alone recorded 711 fresh cases and 18 deaths followed by North 24 Parganas with 643 cases and nine deaths.